By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
THERE will be a new kid on the block here this weekend when Amir Khan has his make-or-break fight with Carlos Molina.
For after two defeats on the bounce, Khan admitted frankly: “I will have to change my approach – the old Amir Khan has to go out of the window.”
Khan, under new trainer Virgil Hunter, is a changed man and has promised he will dispense with the gung-ho approach that cost him so dearly in his last two bouts.
Defeats against Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia have left people questioning his ability to mix it with the best in the world.
But Khan, 26, is in determined mood and said: “I hear what they are saying and I want to prove them wrong.
“I have taken my foot off the gas a little in my build-up to this fight and I have been thinking more about what I am doing.
“I am not getting carried away like the ‘old’ Amir Khan would do. I am working out what I will do and taking it steadily.”
Those last two defeats have seriously reduced the former undisputed world light-welterweight champion’s chances of becoming the best in his division.
His tendency to become involved in toe-to-toe battles has cost him and he said: “I will try to avoid getting sucked in now.
I’ve had to do more on the defensive side. It is all about making sure I am being balanced.
“I’m thinking a lot more now. It might seem to me that I am not working as hard but all my sparring partners are saying it’s because I am thinking a bit more, now I’ve taken my foot off the gas a bit.
“I feel I am a more easy-going, more balanced fighter, instead of making it a ‘go, go, go’ kind of thing.”
Khan puts a lot of his thinking down to Hunter, who replaced sacked trainer Freddie Roach.
The Bolton bruiser said: “I have done lots of hard sparring sessions under Virgil and they’ve calmed me down. I know I need to sort things out and be in a gym isolated from others.
“I think about what I need to do, with no distractions.
“I have a game plan and I am sticking to it. I feel in greater shape. The fitness is there, the pace is right.”
KHAN v Molina will be live on Sky Sports 1HD and on mobile and tablet devices via Sky Go from 2am on Sunday.